Cohort 1 Profiles

College of Engineering
Victor Acero will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science. Victor wrote his thesis on Batch Fabrication of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Sensor Substrates under the supervision of Dr. Tak Sing Wong. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Victor completed undergraduate research experiences at Stanford University, The University of Minnesota, and an internship at Boeing. He was also a member of the Fencing Club for three years and the Men’s Fencing Team for one year. Victor will be pursuing graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania.

Luke Gockowski will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Luke wrote his thesis on the Design of a Lab-Scale Forward Osmosis Desalination Cell for Concentration Polarization Mitigation Testing under the supervision of Dr. Tak Sing Wong. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program, Luke completed undergraduate experiences both at The Pennsylvania State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an internship with the Boeing Company. He was also an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Presidential Leadership Academy. This fall, Luke will be pursuing graduate study at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Nicolas Mesyngier will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science and a minor in Physics. Nicolas wrote his thesis on An Acoustically Enhanced Homogeneous Immunoassay under the supervision of Dr. Tony Huang. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Nicolas completed undergraduate research experiences at The Pennsylvania State University, California Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University. He was also a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy and the Millennium Scholars intramural soccer team. Nicolas will be pursuing graduate study at the University of Michigan with the support of a GEM Fellowship.

Aleksander Piasecki will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. Aleksander wrote his thesis on A Presynthesis Method for Inducing Selective Growth in Two Dimension and Layered Materials under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Robinson. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Aleksander completed undergraduate research experiences at The Pennsylvania State University, Duke University and an internship with ThermoFisher Scientific in Carlsbad, California. He was also a member of the Engineering Undergraduate Council and the THON Hospitality committee. Aleksander has accepted a position with Exxon Mobil.

Jason Turner will be graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Science. Jason wrote his thesis on An Efficient Method for Modeling Large Super cooled Droplet Impingement on an Airfoil under the supervision of Dr. Michael Kinzel in the Applied Research Laboratory. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Jason completed undergraduate research experiences at Idaho National Laboratory and The Applied Research Laboratory. He was also a member of The Sailplane Lab and Chief Designer, Engineer, and Project Manager for the Penn State Design Build Fly Team. Jason will be pursuing graduate study at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. His research will focus on Developing Reduced Order Models for Stochastic Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations.

Kevin Wang will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Kevin wrote his thesis on Adjustable Fixture for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Cortes. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Kevin completed undergraduate research experiences at The Pennsylvania State University and Lehigh University. He was also a member of the Penn State chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Penn State’s Engineering Undergraduate Council. Kevin has accepted a position with Epic Systems.

Eberly College of Science

Kaleb Bogale will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a focus in neuroscience. Kaleb wrote his thesis on The Impact of an Endogenous Retrovirus on Mule Deer ISY1 Gene Expression under the supervision of Dr. Mary Poss. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Kaleb completed undergraduate research experiences at The University of Pennsylvania, Hershey Medical Center and The Pennsylvania State University. He was also a founding member of the Undergraduate Research Society and a tutor for the State College Area High School. Kaleb will be conducting research at the National Institutes of Health and then pursuing graduate study.

Emily Cribas will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. Emily wrote her thesis on the Detection of Pathogenic E. coli Using Fluorescence-based Maltose Coated Gold Nanoparticles under the supervision of Dr. Pak Kin Wong. During her participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Emily completed undergraduate research experiences at Duquesne University, Stanford University and The Pennsylvania State University. She was also a member of Science Lion Pride and the McNair Scholars program. Emily will be pursuing graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sachira Denagamage will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Sachira wrote his thesis on Modeling Non-Ideal Forward Osmosis Processes with Novel Draw Solutes under the supervision of Dr. Tak Sing Wong. During his participation in the Millennium Scholars Program, Sachira completed undergraduate research experiences at The Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also a member of the Undergraduate Research Society (URS) and Undergraduate Research in Science and Engineering (URISE). Sachira will be pursuing graduate study at Yale University.

Liyana Ido will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Sociology. Liyana wrote her thesis on A Study of the Mechanism by which Nicotinamide and TRPV Channels Induce an Egg-Laying Defect in C. elegans under the supervision of Dr. Wendy Hanna-Rose. During her participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Liyana completed undergraduate research experiences at Children’s National Medical Center and The Pennsylvania State University. She was also a member of Ohana. Liyana will be pursuing graduate study at Johns Hopkins University.

Rebecca Plessel will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Rebecca wrote her thesis on Development and Application of an Analytical Method for Cannabis under the supervision of Dr. Frank Dorman. During her participation in the Millennium Scholars Program, Rebecca completed undergraduate research experiences at New York University (NYU) and The Pennsylvania State University. She was also a member of Millennium Scholars Cohort Council and Science Lion Pride. Rebecca will be pursuing graduate study at New York University in the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

Taylor Soucy will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Taylor wrote her thesis on The Development of Catalysts for the Implementation of the Hydrogen Economy under the supervision of Dr. Raymond Schaak. During her participation in the Millennium Scholars Program, Taylor participated in undergraduate research experiences at The Pennsylvania State University Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network REU at the University of California Santa Barbara and interned at Unilever, developing new products for Dove Premium Brand. She was also a member of the Millennium Scholars Cohort Council and the Undergraduate Research Society. Taylor will be pursuing graduate study in Materials Chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Victoria Spadafora will be graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Toxicology and a minor in Chemistry. Victoria wrote her thesis on Examining the Role of the SANT Domain un Binding of LSD1/CoREST to the H4 Tail of the Nucleosome under the supervision of Dr. Song Tan. During her participation in the Millennium Scholars Program Victoria completed undergraduate research experiences at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, The Scripps Research Institute and the University of California San Diego. She was also the Lead of the Scholar Advancement Team for Schreyer Honors College and the THON Chair for the Millennium Society. Victoria will be pursuing her MD/PhD at the Medical University of South Carolina.